The Arrogance / The Sharks,
Success+The Ruling Company
Added on January 27th, 2010 (4195 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Thomas Jäger, I'm 38 years old, and I was born near Frankfurt/Main in Germany. I'm now living in Augsburg (Bavaria, South Germany) working as a quality manager, which means training and coaching employees for a global company in the European energy market.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
The first one I had was T.J. It's just the first letters of my name and surname, nothing else. The second was The Arrogance. The name was invented by Thorsten/DCS, at that time known as Reptil/Shining 8. He came up with it a few months before we joined forces to work together as The Arrogance. I guess there were a few more, but none important.
What group(s) were you in?
The most important ones were: The Sharks, Success, Success+X-Ray, Legend, X-Ray, Pandora, Success again, and finally Success+The Ruling Company. This order should be correct as far as I remember.
What roles have you fulfilled?
I started as a coder and swapper for The Sharks. L8er on, I was coding, cracking and editing a magazine, although that is something I don't really like to talk about today. Reading that crap makes me worry! I wouldn't do it the way I did it back then, but well, we were young, ya know?! ;)
How long were you active for?
I think it was between 1987 and 1994, or something like that. It was a long time ago! I started earlier I guess, but that was just me playing and swapping games.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
I got into the scene like most guys playing and swapping games while getting more and more interested in the crack intros. I then got in touch with people connected to the inner circle of the scene, and my first real entry into the scene was joining The Sharks. Later on, some guys left The Sharks and started Success. The rest is history...
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I got back from school at about 2 PM, went down to the post office to check for new sendings, got home, turned on the C64 after doing my homework, swapped disks and cracked games, and finally went to bed at 1 AM or sometimes later. Not to forget the days I got my modem... Time was running even faster! No Internet existed at that time, so uploading games was done to US boards using hacked cards or some Bluebox software.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Yes, but nothing worth mentioning. I guess everyone invented special techniques or tools to make life easier. IFFL was invented (by Snacky of Genesis Project) and was quite popular because your could put for instance 50 files into one. Thinking about it now, it wasn't that special because it didn't really effect the actual game play. The directory just looked better.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
To be honest? Nothing. Well, of course, that period was exciting for a teenager, doing forbidden things, hanging around with people from all over the world, swapping games, being part of conferences, visiting boards, etc. Yay, that was fun! But it was nothing that would have any influence on my grown up life.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
There were many of them! Almost everyone I had a close contact with influenced me in what I was doing. To call them heroes might be going one step too far, but they were important to me and I learned a lot from them. Here's a list, just to name a few: The Arrogance/Success (Reptil/Shining 8), Rap, The Ignorance, Chrysagon, Steel, Pyle, Exe, MCA, Sphere, Zoomo, Destroyer, Raze, HiLite, Lifestyle (God/Dynamix), and the Dutch part of Success+The Ruling Company (Burglar, Nightshade, Moren, CBA, etc). Then there were the guys I swapped with, but the list would be too long!
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
There's no specific tool or routine that springs to mind, but I really loved those Censor Design demos. Blueboxing was kewl as well as some of the packer tools available.
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes, I went to many parties all over Europe. The best one was the Dominators/Upfront/Trilogy party in Randers in 1989. We in Success had a kind of "party and booze cooperation" with the guys in Censor Design which was fun. Some of the Dutch parties in Utrecht were nice as well, just like the Light party and some of the early Venlo meetings and Eddersheim parties in Germany (The Sharks, Baboons and Success). I also remember the parties we went to together with the X-Ray bunch. We focused heavily on boozing! Yay! We really had fun back then, no matter how the rest of the party turned out.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Cracking games. L8er on, people started to code demos, trying to find out what this little machine was capable of, swapping disk, uploading and downloading from the boards in the US, etc. But I guess the most important thing was all the sceners. With all their differences, their wars, their competition and their friendship, they kept the scene going. This was somthing special, no doubt.
What were the particular highlights for you?
There were some groups I really couldn't wait to get my hands on their new releases! Censor Design, Crest, Light, Black Mail, Horizon, Padua, Camelot, X-Ample, Beyond Force, Panoramic Design, and more. Of course, there were a lot more groups, but who the hell can remember them all?
Any cool stories to share with us?
You mean like having a private meeting with some of the X-Ray guys at my place, getting drunk while playing quarters, moving on to our local disco, destroying cars on the way, and finally having the police coming to my parents home? There are many stories like that, but nothing really important to talk about. ;)
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
I regret that this is not the case, but my job, family and personal interests made it quite difficult to focus on things that were a part of my life 15 to 20 years ago. Nevertheless, I did not forget a single person, and I would really enjoy having contact via email with those guys again. Leave me a message at email@example.com and I will get back to you. Promise.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I got my C64 in 1984 or 1985. I still have the C64 I used at the end of my scene days together with a 1541 disk drive and maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany disks. It was amazing to set up the whole system again in 2004 to see it was still running without problems. Great stuff! ;)
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
It wasn't the C64 itself that made the scene so special. It was the people and the relationship between them. Many nice systems followed, but their scenes never turned out to have the same great scene we had with the C64.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Never I guess. I think I'm done with the past. Though it would be fun to release something again, but what would that be? I have no idea! :)
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Some people already found me on Facebook. The rest might do so if willing. Just check out some of the known sceners and their friendlists. Thanx to all the guys that keep the memory of this small – but amazing – machine alive. Have a nice day!
back to the list of available interviews